There is an objective reality that binds us together.
It is the same for all of us, not subject to opinion.
We are attracted to objectivity, calling it “the facts.”
The pursuit of objectivity is a choice.
And this choice indicates a preference.
Subjective reality is perceptual and different for each of us.
Subjective reality is what we experience. This causes us to say, “Perception is reality.”
A different choice. A different preference.
Unfiltered objectivity is unattainable, as our data is filtered through our preferences, choices, blind spots and predispositions. The exception to this might be mathematics, but even that perception could be argued.
Subjective reality appears to be self-evident to the person who carries it, even though no one else sees or feels exactly what that person is experiencing.
We see this duality even in the arts.
Henri Matisse was a 20 year-old court administrator engaged in the study of law when he had an attack of appendicitis. His mother gave him art supplies to ease the boredom of convalescence. Matisse later said, “From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges toward the thing it loves.”
Matisse’s father was deeply disappointed when he abandoned the study of law. Conversely, his mother advised Matisse not even to follow the “rules” of art, but rather to follow his own emotions. Two years later, in 1891, Matisse was studying under the celebrated William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian in Paris when he became frustrated by the “perfectionist” style of teaching there.
Bouguereau, the master, preferred objective reality
while Matisse, the student, was drawn to subjective perception.
Look closely and you will see this same conflict of preferences evident in every form of communication.
Matisse’s La robe persane sold in November of 2000 for more than 17 million dollars.
Bouguereau’s paintings sell for less than 1 million.
We highly value the artist who can successfully communicate a subjective perception, that artist who can lead us into a private world.
Is this not the skill possessed by Steinbeck and Hemingway,
Elton John and Bernie Taupin, J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling?
Is it not?
Indiana Beagle the Magnificent